April 6, 2024 - April 27, 2024

Floyd Strickland

Higher Learning (Gallery IV)

Opening Reception with the Artist(s): Saturday, April 6, 2024 6:00-10:00pm

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Thinkspace Projects presents:

Higher Learning
Gallery IV

Show Statement:
Higher Learning‘ depicts a collection of portraits of African Americans students at HBCUs or aspiring towards higher education. The collection aims to reinvigorate positive portrayals of HBCUs in pop culture, highlighting their historical resilience and empowerment. It underscores the significance of preserving and elevating these institutions as pillars of leadership and social progress. Additionally, three of the paintings prominently feature my son. I hope that through these portraits, he can envision himself as a successful college student, contributing to the normalization of higher education within him and my community.

This body of work serves as a progression from my previous show, ‘Super Rich Kids,’ by further portraying young black individuals in a positive light. It aims to highlight the positive aspects of our culture and emphasize the significant contributions of African Americans to society.

Artist Bio:
Floyd Strickland, a versatile artist based in Los Angeles, CA, offers an introspective and critical exploration of American culture, particularly through the perspectives of black and brown children. Inspired by his own childhood environment, Strickland employs realistic figures that intertwine with aspects of American cultural imagery, resulting in ethereal and figurative paintings.

Strickland’s artistic journey is a testament to the distinctiveness of his work. Having previously engaged in building and renovating elementary schools nationwide, he observed a troubling lack of confidence in many black and brown children—a struggle he himself experienced during his own upbringing. To address this issue, Strickland embarked on a mission to create large-scale figurative oil paintings that depict the beauty, strength, and untapped potential within these children.

Strickland’s own children often serve as focal points in his artwork, reflecting his deep care and emotional connection to them. He strives to portray them as larger-than-life figures, conveying the immense love he feels for them.